Why should the rape victim ever be to blame?
by skobu1 on November 4, 2013 - 11:17pm
Victim blaming is a problem in today’s society because people have a skewed view of what rape actually is. In any case, if consent is not given and a sexual act is performed, the incident is classified as rape. Unfortunately, people tend to have different views of rape victims when the circumstance of the type of rape is revealed. Despite the fact that these people have undergone a possibly life-scarring event, they may be subject to complete blame through the eyes of some observers. This study analyzed the factors that influence attitudes toward rape victims. 156 people completed a questionnaire that was based on a measure of attitudes toward rape in three different scenarios. These include stranger rape, date rape, and seduction rape. The participants rated extent to which the perpetrator should be blamed as well as the victim. The results of the questionnaire provided the information that males typically blame the victim more than females. The hypotheses were supported as the participants overall placed blame on the victim the most in the seduction scenario. They placed the least amount of blame on the victim in the stranger rape scenario. The date rape scenario fell in-between.
If we take this line of reasoning seriously and realize the dangers of victim blaming, we can prevent a skewed definition of rape and can potentially raise rape prevention awareness. The author states, “The finding that men tend to blame female rape victims to a greater extent than do female observers, and the indications that rape involves miscommunications between men and women, suggest the need for co-educational rape prevention models”(13). It is important to focus on both genders rather than only women in a rape scenario. Educating males on the subject would hopefully cause more male anti-victim blaming advocates. Victim blaming can be detrimental to the victim because it may cause self-blame and interference with healing. If there is less victim blaming, according to the article, more women will be able to heal from the rape that took place because they will not feel guilt from the incident. The study also shows how biased observers can be when looking at rape. Different rape scenarios are looked at differently depending on how much they fit the typical idea of what rape is. If observers can realize that rape is simply a forceful act lacking consent in any situation, then the potential for the stereotype to weaken increases and the idea of gray rape and victim blaming will decrease as well.
Grubb, A., & Harrower, J. (2009). Understanding attribution of blame in cases of rape: An analysis of participant gender, type of rape and perceived similarity to the victim. Journal Of Sexual Aggression, 15(1), 63-81. doi:10.1080/13552600802641649